Thursday, December 14, 2006

Penguin Pitchmen

Emperor penguins are hawking batteries in commercials with Duracell-powered "penguin cams" strapped to their backs, and, in a Capital One TV spot, they surround a shivering couple vacationing in Antarctica because their credit card miles program blacked out flights to warm resort locales.

Penguins also are strutting on packaging for Minute Made lemonade, Entenmanns gingerbread cookie and more, and on Web site banners, such as at the Mystery Guild book club. Hallmark is offering a discount, with the purchase of greeting cards, on its animated penguins-decorating-a-tree decoration.

And Coca Cola has resurrected its ad showing penguins making friends with polar bears (never mind that they live in different hemispheres) by offering them a Coke.

According to ad monitors TNS Media Intelligence, penguins also are in ads for two vehicles, the Jeep Commander and Honda Element, plus Canon cameras, Credit Union One, Creekside Fitness & Health Center, Kids Cuisine Frozen Dinners, Whirlpool washers, Starbucks iced coffee and Dawn dish soap _ showing real penguins being cleaned with it after an oil slick.

What's behind all this?

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